Data Visualization: Winter Juniors Boys’ 200 Freestyle

by Laura Rosado 4

December 09th, 2023 News, Records

There are a lot of similarities between Thomas Heilman and Maximus Williamson. They are two of the fastest high schoolers in history, are ranked #1 and #2 in SwimSwam’s Way Too Early Class of 2025 Recruits, and both are committed to swim for the University of Virginia.

One stark difference, however, is Heilman and Williamson do not swim at the same Winter Juniors meet. Heilman represents Cavalier Aquatics and Williamson represents Lakeside Aquatic Club, meaning they fall on opposite sides of the arbitrary line assigning LSCs to the East and West meets. That means we missed out on any head-to-head races between the two of them, most notably in the boys’ 200 freestyle.

On the opening night of the East meet, Heilman took half a second off of Williamson’s 15-16 national age group (NAG) in the 200 free leading off his team’s 800 free relay, dropping more than 1.6 seconds to hit 1:32.46. About an hour later, Williamson threw down a 1:32:00, also on a lead-off, to crush the 17-18 NAG previously held by Maxime Rooney. Two days later Williamson lowered his time even more, scorching 1:31.37 to dominate the individual event. Heilman opted to swim the 100 fly on day two instead, which is right before the 200 free in the meet schedule.

We’ve turned to the next best thing to simulate the match-up between the two swimmers: data visualization. Take note of Williamson’s huge final 50 during his individual swim, over eight-tenths faster than how he closed leading off the relay. Follow along and check out the splits below.

Made with Flourish
Heilman (relay) Williamson (relay) Williamson (individual)
50 21.26 21.03 21.37
100 44.59 (23.33) 44.31 (23.28) 44.60 (23.23)
150 1:08.40 (23.81) 1:07.96 (23.65) 1:08.16 (23.56)
200 1:32.46 (24.06) 1:32.00 (24.04) 1:31.37 (23.21)

From 2006 to 2016, Simon Burnett’s 1:31.20 stood as the U.S. Open and NCAA record in the 200 free. Then in 2016, a freshman Townley Haas tore through the 1:30 barrier, hitting 1:30.46 to reset the American, U.S. Open, and NCAA record. Since then, five men have dipped under 1:30, led by Dean Farris’ record of 1:29.15.

And now there’s a high school junior who swam less than two-tenths behind what a 23-year-old Burnett threw down in his final collegiate season.

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Justin Pollard
4 months ago

If I recall correctly, Simon Burnett was also wearing a full body suit, disallowed these days.

Billy Howard
4 months ago

Love these kinds of articles!

4 months ago

I would call back to Dalbey seeing the 17-18 record in the 80s. Held up forever.

4 months ago

Do one for their IM races